Nobody seriously thought that BMW would be content to produce two bikes, the R 18 and R 18/2, equipped with the new 1800cc ‘superboxer’ engine. But few of us were quite ready for the speed with which the Bavarians have added to the range. Spy photos and a patent application obtained by MOTORRAD, Europe’s most widely-read motorcycle magazine, respectively show a Tourer and a naked bike as additions to the family.

“The Super-Cruiser,” says MOTORRAD, “is aimed at the US market, but is expected to be available here [in Europe] as well.” The story of the photos reads a bit like an episode from a James Bond film. The photographer came across the bike on the Autobahn and started clicking away for all he was worth. The test rider realized that he had been sprung, effectively hit the brakes as hard as he could and stopped in the emergency lane. A van stopped just as quickly and, like a flash, the previously unknown motorcycle was loaded aboard. But it was too late. MOTORRAD’s photographer had his photos.

“So this is what it looks like, the new BMW Full Dresser boxer,” says the magazine. “A mighty handlebar-mounted fairing protects the rider, the cockpit is equipped with four large circular instruments and a wide display. Leg shields, fat panniers mounted on solid frames, a thickly-padded seat – travel comfort is more than adequately catered for.”
Above the LED headlight an integrated radar system is clearly obvious. Like KTM and Ducati, the Bavarians can be expected to be working on an advanced riding assist system. The radar system will allow adaptive distance-keeping and speed control as well as collision and blind spot warnings.

“The extreme length of the pair of exhaust cans is noticeable,” says MOTORRAD. “The header pipes are also particularly thick. The front fork stanchions, on the other hand, are noticeably thin. You will be able to admire the uncovered drive shaft in this otherwise seriously covered-up model, too. A decent-sized oil cooler seems to be fairly unprotected behind the front wheel.

One serious question that has arisen about all the models in the 1800 range is, just where is the rider going to put his legs behind those huge pots? The bike will hardly be able to offer the by now traditional feet-forward rising position. The test rider looks like he’s having to bend his knees quite a lot.

“The question is whether BMW is perhaps mimicking its American models a little too closely,” says the magazine. “Probably not; even in full touring kit, the big boxer still dominates the look of the bike. This air-cooled, 100hp strong powerhouse will always let the BMW remain unique and unmistakable.”

The magazine confirmed the sighting of the tourer with design patent application images, which also show the big boxer in a naked version. “This is equipped with spoked rather than mag wheels and showing the classic descending line that we know from Harley-Davidson’s Softail models. A teardrop tank, stepped seat and fishtail muffler ends complete the un-faired design. The front fork holds a large circular headlight, and the drive shaft runs in the open here as well.”

Our congratulations to MOTORRAD and its wide-ranging photographer!

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